A good thief preys on the ignorance of unsuspecting homeowners. Movies and television give consumers plenty of false information about how burglars actually do their dirty work. In reality, most burglars are cocksure home-invaders that survive on shock and awe tactics. Because thieves are masters of speedy entrances and exits, a homeowner’s best bet is to make their home as unappealing to thieves as possible. Security systems are an excellent investment, but there’s no better defense than preparation.
Think like a thief
Many homeowners invest time and energy turning attempting to turn their home into Fort Knox without considering why a thief would target their home in the first place. Often homeowners make themselves vulnerable by chatting loudly about their travel plans to a neighbor or bragging about a new big-screen television set while at lunch with co-workers, according to MSN.com.
These seemingly innocent comments grab the attention of criminals and their informants and could facilitate a future robbery at your home. A bit of paranoia servers homeowners well when it comes to keeping their valuables safe. Assuming that every “new neighbor” has good intentions is a risky approach to home security.
Eavesdropping is just one of the many channels that thieves use to get an idea of what valuables a family is hiding. They are also fond of digging through a homeowner’s trash for receipts and packaging that hint at a family’s recent purchases. Likewise, empty television boxes outside the garage or near the trash can are open invitations for thieves in the market for second-hand electronics. Homeowners should be diligent in keeping proof of their valuables out of sight. Storing electronic boxes and trash in the garage until garbage day is an easy way to minimize criminal attention directed toward your home.
Display security decals
Security system decals are a very effective deterrent when strategically applied, but a single sticker in your front doorway won’t get the job done. Thieves commonly approach homes from Arcadia doors and plan their strategies while scanning the backyard. Homeowners can further deter burglaries by anticipating this behavior and setting up decals accordingly.
Create a security checklist
It’s a challenge for homeowners to remember every possible point of entry that might fall prey to a thief. That’s why families are better off creating a go-to security checklist. This document should identify every area in the house that may be targeted by a thief (doorknobs, windows, sliding doors, vents, attics, basement doors etc.) and include reminders of how to secure these entry points. Families can work together to finish the checklist prior to leaving the home and this routine will help ensure that home security efforts do not fail due to lack of negligence.
Schedule vacation security
It’s easy for thieves to identify when a family has left for vacation. Lights stay off, newspapers pile up and cars go missing from driveways. It doesn’t take long for criminals to target a home they recognize as unattended, so it’s in the best interest of homeowners to not let their homes appear to be empty while on vacation.
The easiest way to reconcile this security threat is by communicating with neighbors. A trusted friend from the community can be tasked with picking up mail, cycling lights and keeping an eye out for any strange activity, notes Oprah.com. These simple precautions can have a huge impact on how potential burglars view a home: as a risk or as an opportunity.